Fall Connection #13 – Menagerie of Animals

Part 2 of Menagerie features the interesting names given to large groups of animals other than birds. I’m betting you’ll find some words you’ve never heard before in this bunch, as well as the use of some words that have other meanings in the English language!

A – An Army of Frogs. It is believed that frogs were the first land animals to develop vocal cords, and they use them loudly in mating season. A half dozen of these little guys can cause quite a ruckus.

B – A Bale of Turtles. Kinda like a ball, as in large bundle, pressed and packaged.

C – A Cloud of Grasshoppers. This term is used for many types of insects including grasshoppers. Actually grasshoppers rarely swarm unless disturbed in areas where there are large numbers feeding.

D – A Drey of Squirrels. These mammals are highly adaptable. Most of the time, squirrels eat seeds and nuts and maybe a little greenery. However, they have been observed eating small birds, insects, reptiles and other creatures.

E – An Earth of Foxes, referring to the den. Fox families make their homes in earth dens they have dug in the banks of streams or eroded area.

G – A Gam of Porpoises. In case you didn’t know, porpoises and dolphins are different animals entirely. A porpoise has a blunt body shape, causing them to resemble sweet potatoes with fins and flukes. They have no pronounced beak like dolphins.

H – A Hover of Trout. Ever watch a trout in a stream, where it is able to appear absolutely motionless in a current, betrayed only by its gently waving tail? Enough said.

K – A Kindle of Kittens. This term for a group of very young cats first appeared in print in 1486. Cats have been domesticated for more than 5,000 years.

L – A Labor of Moles. Moles have long been seen as very busy creatures, always hard at work tunneling and earth-piling.

S – A Smuck of Jellyfish. Some believe that the word derives from the sound of pulling two jellyfish apart, or levering a damp dead one up from the sand beneath it.

T – A Trip of Hares. Hunters have contributed many names to groups of their game species. Rabbits are one of those traditionally hunted species.

(Thanks to the Sierra Club’s Menagerie of Animals Knowledge Cards for the information included in today’s post. Published by Pomegranate Communications, Inc., www. pomegranate.com)

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